The Best Road Trips in the Western Cape

The Best Road Trips in the Western Cape Storms River Mouth, South Africa

With summer on its way, there’s no better time to hit the road.

The Western Cape boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. As such, our roads, rather than being a means to an end, are a destination in themselves. Have you ever daydreamed of rounding up the bare necessities, the people (and pets) you love, and hitting the road?

We do… a lot! Which is why we decided to make our daydreams come true…

Now, before you turn up your nose at the thought of public ablution blocks and such, remember that road tripping, at its heart, is about the adventure, escaping the restrictions of everyday life, and experiencing the thrill of letting go and taking each day as it comes. Because, as fabulous as planned luxury holidays are (and, trust us, we love them), there’s nothing quite as revitalising as a back-to-basics escapade through nature with you as the master of your own destiny.

Below are some epic routes – in Cape Town and beyond – where travelling by camper van, caravan or with a 4×4 trailer is not only encouraged, but highly recommended. We’ve pinpointed the most interesting stops along the way and, of course, some cool caravan parks to, well, park your van.

West Coast

Camper Vans West Coast

Although it might not be the obvious route for caravans, the West Coast offers a wonderful selection of coastal towns, such as Yzerfontein, Langebaan, and Paternoster, as well as some inland finds, such as Darling. With water sports, loads of outdoor activities, pristine beaches and seasonal wildflowers, the West Coast is definitely one for the travel logs!

Where to stop along the way

Melkbosstrand for seaside (and seafood) dining, and the Koeberg Nature Reserve.
Yzerfontein for the 16 Mile Beach, SA’s longest stretch of beach.
Darling for Darling Sweets, Evita se Perron and Darling Brews.
Langebaan for the West Coast National Park and the West Coast Fossil Park.
Saldanha for the water sports.
Jacobsbaai for seasonal whale- and bird-watching.
Paternoster for excellent cuisine, horse riding on the beach and kayaking in the sea.
St Helena Bay for seasonal whale watching and spring wildflowers.
Hopefield for birdlife and hiking trails.

Places to park your van along the West Coast

Ou Skip

As one of the Western Cape’s largest caravan parks, it offers treed-up campsites and views of Table Mountain. With 60 exclusive sites (including chalets, bush camps, tents and caravan sites), it’s a great place to stay with extended family or groups of friends.
Facilities and activities

  • Five ablution blocks (with hot/cold showers and baths)
  • Chemical toilet disposal
  • Blue plugs for rent/purchase
  • Laundry (coin-operated washing machines and tumble dryers) and ironing facilities
  • Braai facilities (but bring your own grid)
  • Water and 15-amp power points
  • Shade
  • Olympic pool and kiddies’ pool
  • On-site convenience store
  • 24-hour security
  • Hall for functions
  • Games room
  • putt-putt course
  • Children’s play area
  • Gas refill and exchange station

Cost R160 – R755 per night (depending on season and number of guests)
Contact 021 553 2058, ouskip@intekom.co.za
Where to find it 1 Otto du Plessis Drive, Melkbosstrand, Cape Town

Ganzekraal Coastal Resort

This coastal resort is ideal for weekend getaways and holidays, particularly with its Atlantic Ocean-hugging location. Aside from 28 sea-facing self-catering chalets, it also offers 48 grassy camp sites. Sites are split into two sections and are well-protected, despite being on the rocky shoreline.
Facilities and activities

  • Two ablution areas (four showers, toilets and basins each)
  • Scullery
  • Taps and power points
  • Tidal pool for safe swimming
  • 24-hour security
  • Tuckshop
  • Braai facilities (wood is available for purchase from the tuckshop)
  • Self-catering restaurant, lapa and deck for functions

Cost R115 – R230 (depending on season)
Contact 022 433 8547, ganzekraal@mweb.co.za
Where to find it Along the R27, near Grotto Bay and Yzerfontein, West Coast

Garden Route

Caravan Parks Western Cape: Garden Route

Few areas in South Africa are as lush and beautiful as the Garden Route. Blessed with majestic scenery, forests of green and warmer beaches along the Indian Ocean coast, it offers a plethora of delightful towns and forest retreats, such as Mossel Bay, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

Where to stop along the Garden Route

Mossel Bay for whale-watching and scenic hiking trails.
George for a host of outdoor adventures and the Outeniqua Transport Museum.
Wilderness for lovely beaches, Acrobranch Garden Route and Map of Africa viewpoint.
Sedgefield for the famous Wild Oats Saturday Morning Market, the chilled vibe, and the Outeniqua Power Van.
Knysna for The Heads, the coffee at île de païn, Garden Route National Park and Knysna Elephant Park.
Plettenberg Bay for amazing beach swimming (arguably the best in the Cape), Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, Birds of Eden and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, Robberg Nature Reserve and Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours.
Storms River Mouth for a host of adventurous outdoor activities, as well as the small Storms River Mouth beach, where you can swim, snorkel and scuba dive.

Places to park your van along the Garden Route

ATKV-Hartenbos

Offering a range of family-friendly accommodation options (including villas and tents), this is a wonderful seaside escape in the Mossel Bay Municipality. With more than 570 sites, it really is a popular vacationing spot for caravans and campers!
Facilities and activities

  • 220-volt, 10-amp electricity points
  • Hot and cold indoor/outdoor pools
  • On-site ATM
  • Sports bar and restaurant
  • Well-stocked shop
  • Indoor and outdoor games/sports
  • Pony and horse rides at the resort

Cost R105 – R730 per night (member fees)
R140 – R860 per night (non-member fees)
Contact 044 601 7200, hartenbos@atkv.org.za
Where to find it Hartenbos, Mossel Bay Municipality, Western Cape

Carmel Guest Farm

With 25 tranquil camping and caravan sites alongside the farm, this really is country experience. Add to that majestic views of the Outeniqua mountains, and incredible sunsets, and you’re all set for a wonderful camping trip!
Facilities and activities

  • 10-amp power points
  • Coin-operated Laundromat
  • Maids available for washing/ironing in season (by arrangement)
  • Hot water on tap
  • Newly renovated ablution facilities
  • Freezer space available
  • Hiking
  • Birding
  • Boating
  • Children’s play area
  • Resort security
  • Scullery tubs
  • Electric razor outlets
  • Volleyball
  • Public telephones and cellphone reception

Cost R300 – R800 per night (for two; includes electricity; depending on season)
R50 (for extra guest)
Contact 044 877 1194
Where to find it Hoekwil Road turnoff, between Sedgefield and Wilderness, Western Cape

Forever Resorts

This beautiful nature resort near the mouth of the Keurbooms River has a wealth of fun and relaxing opportunities in store. Aside from self-catering chalets and cabins, this hideaway offers 33 river sites and 83 standard sites.
Facilities

  • Power points
  • Three ablution blocks
  • Beach
  • Sports
  • Picnics
  • Motorboats
  • Bird watching
  • Swimming pool and baby pool
  • Children’s play park

Cost R95 – R840 per night (depending on season and number of guests)
Contact 044 535 9309
Where to find it N2, Keurboomsrivier, Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape

Storms River Mouth Rest Camp

Situated on arguably the most beautiful stretch of Garden Route coastline, this rest camp is not to be missed! The 30 camping sites and 82 caravan sites all come with communal ablution, laundry and washing up facilities.
Facilities

  • Power points (caravan sites)
  • Ablution blocks
  • Beach
  • Hikes
  • Boat cruises
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkelling
  • Scuba diving

Cost R300 – R430 per night plus Conservation fees
Contact 042 281 1607
Where to find it Storms River Mouth, Western Cape

Route 62

Road Trips Route 62

If you’re after a scenic, historic and quaint route, few are as delightful as the Route 62. With fruit- and wine-producing towns, such as Montagu, Ashton and Bonnievale along the way, or more popular crowd-pulling ones like Robertson, McGregor and Barrydale, Route 62 offers a little something of everything, with healthy dollops of warm hospitality, charming accommodation and country fare!

Where to stop along the way

Paarl for Spice Route and Tea Under The Trees.
Rawsonville for Goudini Spa and Slanghoek Mountain Resort.
Worcester for Klipbokkop Mountain Reserve and the Golden Valley Casino.
Robertson for some unique wine tasting experiences and Bourbon Street.
McGregor for Tangara Wine Farm and Lord’s Guest Lodge.
Bonnievale for Mooivallei Cheese factory and Weltevrede Wine Estate.
Ashton for Platform 62 Wine Shop and Zandvliet Wine Estate.
Montagu for Cape Dry Fruit, Montagu Dried Fruit & Nuts, and the Avalon Springs Resort.
Barrydale for Diesel & Creme Vintage Diner & Motel, and Ronnie’s Sex Shop.
Ladismith for Ladismith Cellar and Touwsberg Nature Reserve.
Calitzdorp for Hennie Cloete’s Succulent Garden and The Donkey Trail.

Places to park your van along the Route 62

Slanghoek Mountain Resort

Nestled in Slanghoek Valley, between vineyards and the Slanghoek stream, this resort is a haven for nature lovers, offering self-catering chalets, log cabins, a tented safari camp and, of course, camping for those with their own tents and caravans ideally positioned between the vineyards on the banks of the Slanghoek stream…
Facilities and activities

  • 220-volt power points
  • All sites have grass, private ablution facilities (with shower, basin and toilet)
  • Playground
  • Several swimming pools
  • Fishing
  • Horse riding
  • Puttputt
  • Nature walks

Cost R600 – R700 per night (depending on season)
Contact 023 344 3138
Where to find it Slanghoek Valley, Rawsonville, Western Cape
Bookings Check availability + Book Direct

ATKV Goudini Spa

Nestled in the heart of the Boland mountains, Goudini Spa offers a range of self-catering accommodation and wonderful recreational facilities (including a glorious natural spring). The caravan park carries a three-star grading from South African Tourism and has 54 paved stands, each with their own private braai.
Facilities and activities

  • Braai facilities
  • 15-amp power point
  • Horseback riding
  • Hiking trails
  • Birdwatching
  • Mineral bath and jacuzzi
  • Mini golf
  • Water slide and trampolines
  • Games arcade
  • Tennis and volleyball
  • Snooker and pool

Cost R204 – R825
R248 – R926 (with shade)
Contact 023 349 8100
Where to find it Rawsonville, Western Cape

Silwerstrand Caravan Park

This privately owned, pet-friendly resort near Robertson is ideally located on the banks of the Breede Rivier, with amazing views of the distant Langeberg Mountains. Visitors can camp and park their vans on the well-grassed sites close to the river.
Facilities and activities

  • Braai facilities
  • Pet-friendly
  • Ample ablution areas
  • Laundry facilities (washing machine and tumble dryer)
  • Scullery
  • Portable-loo flushing
  • Fishing
  • Watersports
  • Horse riding
  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Climbing wall
  • Mountain climbing
  • Golf
  • Hot/cold showers
  • Power points
  • Tent stands
  • Kitchen
  • Playground
  • Wheelchair-friendly
  • Bicycle-friendly

Cost R90 – R130 per adult per night (depending on season)
R50 – R60 per child age 1 – 12 years per night (depending on season)
Contact 076 199 4085
Where to find it R60, Robertson, Western Cape

Olifantsdoorn

The grape- and apricot-producing farm, Olifantsdoorn lies next to the Riviersonderend Mountains, enjoying expansive views of surrounding mountains. Blessed with an abundance of wildlife and bird species, it’s a nature lover’s paradise. Accommodation can be found in the form of camping facilities and overnight rooms, with a fully equipped communal kitchen and lapa.
Facilities and activities

  • Braai facilities
  • Power points
  • Fully equipped communal kitchen and lapa
  • Ablution facilities
  • Fly-fishing
  • Mountain biking
  • Bird watching
  • Hiking
  • 4×4 trips into Riviersonderend Mountains

Cost R50 per person per night (children under 12 stay free)
Contact 023 625 1518, info@olifantsdoorn.co.za
Where to find it between McGregor and Stormsvlei, Western Cape

River Goose Camp Site

Offering pleasant grassed and shaded camp sites on the banks of the Breede, River Goose Camp Site near Bonnievale offers wide-open spaces in the heart of the country.
Facilities and activities

  • Shaded camp sites
  • Water taps
  • Ablution blocks (with flush toilets, showers and hot water)
  • Catch-and-release fishing (only bass boats and canoes allowed)
  • Boat rides (trips must be booked in advance and are weather-dependent)
  • Wood for sale
  • Braai facilities
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Bird watching
  • Wheelchair-friendly

Cost R120 – R150 per person (depending on season)
Free (children aged 6 and under)
Boat trips: R100 per person; R50 per child (aged 12 and under)
Contact 082 759 5727, breederivergoose@xsinet.co.za
Where to find it Bonnievale, Western Cape

Cape Peninsula round-trip

Road Trips Cape Town

There are few drives in the world to rival a coastal drive around the Cape Peninsula! Make a day of it and head to the world-famous Cape Point, and along the way, check out popular stops, beaches and towns such as Llandudno, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Simon’s Town and Kalk Bay.

Where to stop along the way

Cape Town for Table Mountain and a wealth of excellent restaurants, things to do, and unforgettable experiences.
Llandudno for great surfing and a beautiful beach.
Hout Bay for Hout Bay Seal Island and World of Birds.
Chapman’s Peak Drive for roadside picnics and world-famous views.
Noordhoek for Long Beach and The Foodbarn.
Scarborough for more secluded, yet equally stunning, beaches.
Cape Point for world-class experiences, including shipwreck hikes and secret beaches.
Simon’s Town for Boulder’s Beach and its penguin inhabitants.
Kalk Bay for Kalk Bay Harbour and some excellent eateries, including like Olympia Café and Salt.
Muizenberg for epic surfing and waterwise practices.

Places to park your van along the Cape Peninsula

Imhoff Caravan Park

If you’re craving a relaxing seaside getaway, then Imhoff Caravan Park could just be your answer. Particularly since the resort fronts two of the finest unspoiled beaches in our province: Long Beach and Noordhoek Beach. There are two modern chalets and 75 level, grassed stands for caravans and tents, with some providing more shade than others.
Facilities and activities

  • 15-amp power points
  • Built-in braai facilities (grids not supplied)
  • Clean ablution blocks (semi disabled-friendly)
  • Ironing boards
  • Children’s playground
  • Games room and separate TV room
  • Freezer space available
  • Hiking
  • Stands with cement slabs available
  • Washing lines

Cost R190 – R410 per night (depending on season)
R40 (for extra guest)
Contact 021 783 1634
Where to find it Kommetjie, Cape Town, Western Cape

Chapman’s Peak Cottages and Caravan Park

With spectacular sea views, mountains and trees adding to its peaceful atmosphere, this ideally located caravan park is a short 30-minute-drive from some of the city’s main attractions. All 46 caravan and camp sites (as well as delightful self-catering cottages) are large, spacious and well-shaded by nearby trees.
Facilities and activities

  • Swimming pool
  • Trampoline and playground area
  • Shaded camp sites
  • Ablution block
  • Milling farm animals
  • Laundry and scullery facilities
  • Firewood and portable braai facilities available
  • Irons available for hire

Cost R90 – R150 per night (depending on season)
R80 – R90 per person per night (depending on season)
Minimum stay of 10 nights is required between 5 December 2017 – 20 January 2018.
R200 (caravan storage; per month)
Contact 021 789 1225
Where to find it Main Road, Noordhoek, Cape Town, Western Cape

Klein Karoo

Road Trips Klein Karoo

Although the Klein Karoo isn’t a long route, it is one to be enjoyed and explored all the same, particularly as it merges with the famous Route 62, the longest wine route in the world. Also, its stark, barren landscapes – contrasted by more vibrant towns – are truly unique to this part of the Western Cape.

Where to stop along the way

Barrydale for Barrydale Cellar and The Country Pumpkin Restaurant.
Ladismith for the Art Gallery @ Ladismith.
Calitzdorp for the Gallery Route 62 and the Calitzdorp Spa.
Oudtshoorn for the Cango Caves and Buffelsdrift Game Lodge.
Prince Albert for the region’s impressive Swartberg Pass.
De Rust for Stompdrift Dam Water Resort.

Places to park your van along the Klein Karoo

Cango Mountain Resort

Close to the Swartberg Mountains, just outside Oudtshoorn is a three-star-rated grassed and levelled resort along a river. In addition to camping sites and a caravan park, it offers self-catering chalets and cabins, too.
Facilities and activities

  • Power and water points
  • Self-catering conference facility and youth centre (with 100-person dorm)
  • Night watch after hours
  • Ablution blocks
  • Laundry and scullery facilities
  • Birdwatching
  • Electric razor outlets
  • Washing machine(s)
  • Mini golf/putt-putt
  • Public telephones
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Swimming pool

Cost R201 – R239 per night (depending on season)
Contact 044 272 4506
Where to find it R328, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape

Calitzdorp Spa

Although it’s a popular winter getaway, Calitzdorp Spa attracts happy campers year-round. With water temperatures reaching 50C at the source, the spa is known for its rejuvenating powers. Aside from 36 camp site and caravan stands, it also offers mountain chalets.
Facilities and activities

  • Ablution blocks (with hot and cold water)
  • Scullery
  • 220-volt power points
  • Water taps (close to sites)
  • Swimming pool
  • Cave/Bushmen paintings
  • Hiking/nature trails
  • Secure complex
  • Horse rides
  • Fishing
  • Croc/animal farm
  • Braai facilities

Cost R200 – R440 per night (depending on season)
Contact 044 213 3371
Where to find it R62, on the DR1688 Road, Calitzdorp, Western Cape

The Overberg

Caravan Parks Western Cape: The Overberg

Whether you take Clarence Drive and head along the R44 – or head briefly inland, tailing around the Botrivier Lagoon before hitting the coastline-hugging R43 – a journey through the Overberg offers a wonderful array of coastal and inland towns to explore, not to mention some of the best land-based whale-watching in the world!

Where to stop along the way

Rooi Els for the beach.
Pringle Bay for Lemon + Lime Deli and Hook, Line and Sinker Restaurant.
Betty’s Bay for Harold Porter Botanical Garden and John the Potter Gallery (set to re-open in December 2017).
Kleinmond for Leopard Gorge Hiking Trail and Bee and Kie Honey Factory.
Hermanus for the whales and, of course, our Best Hermanus Restaurants too!
Gansbaai for shark-cage diving and African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary.
Botrivier for Gabriëlskloof Wine Estate and Klein Paradys Equestrian Centre.
Caledon for the unique Dassiesfontein Farm stall and the Caledon Wild Flower Garden and Reserve.
Riviersonderend for the Riviersonderend Canyon Trail and Suicide Gorge.
Swellendam for The Berry Farm, Rotham Manor and Jan Harmsgat Country House & Restaurant.

Places to park your van along the Overberg

Palmiet Caravan Park

Its close proximity to the sea makes this a beauty! The park is split into three sections – A, B and C (which is not for caravans).
Facilities and activities

  • Power points
  • Ablution blocks
  • Playground
  • Kiosk
  • Access to the Lagoon

Cost R180 – R380 per night (depending on season and section, either A or B)
R55 (for extra guest, maximum of two per day)
R30 per unit per day (additional vehicle, small trailer or small boat; maximum of two units)
R55 (day visitors to campers; maximum of four; R42 per vehicle)
R140 (refundable gate card/key deposit)
Contact 076 371 8938, gveden@overstrand.gov.za
Where to find it Palmiet Caravan Park, Kleinmond, Western Cape

Khomeesdrif Camping Site

Khomeesdrif is a beautiful caravan park and camp site on the banks of the endless Riviersonderend River. It lies at the foothills of the Sonderend Mountains and offers 30 mostly shaded, grassed sites.. There is also one newly added farm cottage, which sleeps six.
Facilities and activities

  • Braai facilities and braai wood (available on request)
  • Two ablution blocks with solar-powered hot showers backed up by gas, and wheelchair friendly flush toilets
  • 4×4 route (by prior arrangement only)
  • Water points
  • Jungle gym
  • Secure facility
  • Washing up facilities
  • Dogs and horses welcome (by prior arrangement only)
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Fishing
  • Mountain biking
  • Quad biking (by prior arrangement only)
  • Canoes, paddle skis and inner tractor tubes for swimming (if available)
  • Bird watching
  • Star gazing

Cost R300 per night (up to four persons)
R75 (for extra guest, maximum of six per site)
Contact 082 937 0053, bookings@khomeesdrif.co.za
Where to find it Kleinplasie, Riviersonderend, Overberg, Western Cape

Kam’Bati River Resort

Located on a private farm, Kam’Bati lies next to the beautiful Breede River. The resort offers lush camp sites, underneath gum trees. The resort, which is one of the most popular in the Western Cape, also offers good self-catering cabins and Africamps tented accommodation.
Facilities and activities

  • 220-volt power points
  • Ablution facilities
  • Fishing
  • Swimming pool
  • Water slides
  • Canoeing
  • Jungle Gym
  • putt-putt course
  • Pool lounge with entertainment
  • Cash bar with DStv

Cost R165 per night (adults)
R120 (pensioners)
R85 (children, 4 – 18 years)
Contact 079 200 9098
Where to find it Jubileeskraal, Swellendam, Western Cape

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 06 September 2017

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One Response to “The Best Road Trips in the Western Cape”

  1. paula combrink

    sadly the Swartberg Pass remains closed which causes quite some disruptions as routes are limited and those that are open have stop and goes ….. plan your route carefully heading to Prince Albert but still SO worth the visit.

    Reply